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France To Fund Municipal School Makeover Project

A team of officials from the French Development Agency (FDA) will visit the city on July 15 to initiate discussions on a school redevelopment project. The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has been sanctioned Rs 52 crore (80% of the project cost) by the FDA for it’s proposal of ‘Social Inclusion through Modernizing Public Schools as Smart Campus’ under the CITIIS (Cities Investment to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain) Challenge.

As per the norms of the challenge, FDA will fund a maximum of Rs 80 crore or 80% of the total cost of the project, whichever is less. A total of Rs 65 crore will be spent on the school refurbishment project, including Rs 13 crore (20% of the project cost) share of the GVMC.

The Union government has conducted the challenge in the first half of the year to pick a few projects from among the Smart Cities. A major objective of the challenge is to replicate the initiatives taken under the smart city project outside the ABD (area based development) part of the city chosen for the smart city mission.

The GVMC had given a makeover to five schools in the ABD area with about Rs 5 crore under the smart city mission. Now, the sanctioned funds will help the GVMC to modernise and retrofit the public schools as smart campuses.

GVMC commissioner G Srijana said the team will visit the GVMC schools retrofitted under the Smart City Mission on July 15 to take the school makeover project forward. “On the other hand, discussions are also on to extend the ongoing Urban WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) — Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya project of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to 40 schools from the existing 20 schools,” said Srijana.

Even though the ‘Smart Campus’ proposal has only made the final cut, the GVMC had submitted three different proposals for the CITIIS Challenge. One of the two other proposals, include ‘Ecosystem for Sustainable Mobility and Social Inclusion’ to introduce SHE rickshaws, public bicycle sharing system and smart bus stops. The other proposal is ‘Reimagining Waterfronts through Rejuvenation of Mudasarlova Lake Precinct’.

Source : The Times Of India

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